Banana Nutcase Muffins

By Ness on September 15, 2008 | Desserts

I call these nutcase muffins because everyone who tries them goes nuts for them. They are absolutely delicious and make the house smell amazing. Just keep an eye out for the neighborhood monkeys that like to come by and snatch them up…at least that is what my husband claims happened to them when I come home and find an empty container with only banana nutcase crumbs remaining. Read more

BBQ Chicken Pizza

By Ness on September 15, 2008 | Dinner

Long gone are the days when I could pop into a pizzeria and order a few slices of pie or meet the ladies for lunch at CPK. But who needs CPK when you can make your own kick ass BBQ chicken pizza? But does it taste as good? Hell yeah it does and it is gluten free to boot. On the downside you need a bit of time to put this bad boy together but believe me it is well worth it. Read more

Fiesta Salad

By Ness on September 15, 2008 | Salads

This salad just makes me want to party. Enjoy! Read more

Beautiful Kola Torta

By Ness on September 15, 2008 | Desserts

In addition to affordable modern furniture at IKEA the Swedish also have a wonderful gluten free cake. Ah the Kola Torta. Back in 2005 it was just a regular old day in my grey dull cube when my co-worker strolled on over with a wonderful treat for me. He had told me before that he believed his favorite cake was gluten free and he was kind enough to sacrifice a slice of it for me. One bite and I was in love. The cake was a tradition in his family and his mother would make it for him and his twin brother every year for their birthday. I asked the poor guy for the recipe on a fairly regular basis and 2 years later I finally got it. I remember the day fondly. His wife came in with their adorable baby boy for the holiday party at work and with her she also brought all the sacred tools that are needed to make a Kola Torta. They both provided me with very precise instructions on how to use the equipment to create the torta. I nervously headed home with a bag of family treasures including a near ancient mandel krarn for grinding the almonds. The next day I prepared my very first Kola Torta and the rest is history. I now make it all the time for family events and birthdays. Without a doubt this dessert will become a tradition in my family as well. The original recipe calls for a caramel sauce made with Swedish ingredients which I can not in good conscious share but the cake alone is a fantastic base for many other toppings. – glad bakningen Read more

Focaccia Bread

By Ness on February 18, 2008 | Breads


I came across this recipe by Karen Robertson over the weekend and decided to make it for Sunday dinner. It was absolutely delicious. I used teff flour, rubbed it down with olive oil, garlic, and sprinkled it with shallots and fresh rosemary. This is the best focaccia bread I have made. It is fabulous when served with a side of olive oil. Enjoy !–Focaccia-Bread-by-Karen-Robertson/Page1.html

J’Adore Crepes

By Ness on February 18, 2008 | Desserts

dscf0001.jpgAs a kid the crepe was a mysterious dessert that would show up on random occasions in our house in the form of crepe suzette. I remember my mother arriving in the dining room, lights dimmed to create the dramatic atmosphere, with a silver platter aflame. Once the alcohol burned off we were served up some crepes and a side of whipped cream. I can’t say that I really loved their bitter orange flavor but I did love the spectacle of it all. When I got older the crepe suzette seemed to no longer make appearance at family dinners so I pretty much forgot all about crepes. It was not until I was working in Upper Montclair that I rediscovered the sensual crepe. There was a great little crepe shop that we would order from on Saturdays for a late afternoon snack. My favorite was the lemon crepe covered in butter and confectioners sugar. I grew a bit of an addiction to them and was rather sad to move onto a job in Milburn where the crepes were “subpar”. It got even worse when I moved to Pennsylvania. On my ever growing list of missing culinary delights I sadly had to add crepes as there were no crepe shops anywhere in the general area. One day I decided I should make my own crepes so I sought out a crepe maker and some recipes. I did manage to make some but they were dry, misshaped, and rather bland. I tried a few more times and then I sent the crepe maker off to the land of misfits toys in the back of my pantry. Then I received my diagnosis…cue the crepe shop opening around the corner from my job. Go figure. The thought of trying to make gluten free crepes really did not cross my mind until I watched an episode of “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” where he challenged these two hip ladies who work out of an Airstream trailer making fabulous crepes. At the end of the show my mind was made up to attempt the construction of the gluten free crepe. I reached deep into my bucket of defunct kitchen gadgets and found my crepe maker. Using a few recipes as guides I put together a gluten free version…and it actually worked and tasted fantastic! The recipe makes a basic crepe with a hint of vanilla so you can pretty much add whatever topping you want to them. Read more

Pretzels and Ginger Ale

By Ness on February 13, 2008 | Snacks

dscf0085.jpgUnfortunately, I am no stranger to a wicked stomach ache but sometimes there are stomach aches that just make you want to curl into a ball and hide away from the world. When I feel this way the only thing I can imagine eating is a hard pretzel and some ginger ale. About two weeks ago I was blessed with one of these stomach aches so I decided it would be a good idea to make myself some gluten free pretzels. I embarked on my journey with an uneasy stomach and an unfounded sense of confidence that I could be clever enough to tackle the creation of gluten free hard pretzels. Following multiple pretzel recipes loosely I concocted a pretzel dough. I let it rise for an hour or so and then began forming my “pretzels”. I am not sure if it was my lack of pretzel forming skills or the dough’s unwillingness to work with me but the traditional pretzel shape seemed to be out of the question. I tried negotiating with the dough but alas I was ignored and the pretzel logs were created. I covered them with pretzel salt and got them baking in the oven. After about an hour I found myself eagerly anticipating the emergence of crispy, salty pretzel logs from the oven. But after about an hour they were not done. So on they baked for another 45 minutes. When they were finally done I spread them on a cooling rack and waited patiently while they sealed in their crispness. After about another 30 minutes I poured myself a glass of ginger ale and grabbed a handful of my little beauties. I popped one in my mouth…and…and…I damn near broke one of my teeth! They were hard as rocks. I thought that maybe I grabbed a bad one so I tried another…sadly I found the same result. I will say that they did look pretty good and they were tasty…but the last thing I need to do is increase my dental bills. For the sake of innocent teeth I am not going to share this recipe but I will be working furiously to come up with a perfect recipe that I can share. No person should have to be without pretzels and ginger ale when their stomach is aching. Pretzels 1…Gluten Free Cook 0…I will prevail!

Bagels Glorious Bagels

By Ness on February 4, 2008 | Breads

dscf0081.jpgIt is times like this that I really wish the internet had a scratch and sniff option. I have just finished whipping up a delicious batch of gluten free bagels. The house smells amazing and not too far off from the bagel stores that peppered that the streets of the place I grew up. I think I can finally say that I am on my way to mastering the making of these wonderful wholly discs of dough.

Crisp on the outside warm and chewy on the inside. Anyone who knows me well knows that it is the bagel that I grieved most over upon my diagnosis of celiac disease. In fact a year ago I literally broke into tears when my father arrived Christmas morning with a big piping hot bag of bagels. I stood on the sidelines with my sad bowl of Gorilla Munch while the rest of the family devoured the luscious gluten laden bundles of joy. Over the past three years I have been plagued by nightmares where I can not resist a salty bagel schmeared with vegetable cream cheese. Perhaps it is not so much a nightmare as a fantasy but it always ends the same way…with me waking up and realizing that, sadly, it was only a dream. After having about three of these dreams in one week I decided enough was enough and that it was time for me to try and conquer the making of the bagel.

With Google and a creative array of keywords by my side, I set out on my quest to find the perfect bagel recipe. Fearlessly I hunted through a plethora of recipes claiming to be for bagels when really they were just recipes for doughnuts or bread in the disguise of the highly regarded bagel. To be avoided at all costs were recipes containing blasphemous ingredients such as butter, oil or worse yet the dreaded shortening. After several tiresome runs I was on the brink of throwing in the towel…when all of the sudden there it was! The most magnificent bagel recipe I had ever seen. I could barely believe what my eyes were blessed with reading. It was a recipe for “Real Honest Jewish Purist’s Bagels”. It was as though I had unlocked a secret trove in the sacred heart of Israel.

Read more